A man accused of fatally stabbing his stepmother three years ago after she gloated over a Dallas Cowboys victory, and who later told police he’s glad she died, is on trial this week in Texas.Travis County prosecutors attempting to secure a murder conviction against Pontrey Jones, 23, advised the jury Tuesday morning to not bother trying to make sense of Jones’ behavior because there is no rationale for it. Jones, they said, stood over 35-year-old Maggie Ruiz as she sat on a living room couch and stabbed her several times with a knife he had hidden under the couch earlier in the night while her husband, Jones’ father, slept next to her.The three of them had spent that Sunday evening watching the Cowboys defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an outcome that prompted Ruiz to break into a celebratory dance. Jones later told investigators he found that to be disrespectful. Jones, a Louisiana native, was a fan of the New Orleans Saints, who had played earlier in the day.“This is never going to make sense,” prosecutor Drew Rountree said.Jones, accompanied by defense lawyers Robb Shepherd and Deniz Kadirhan, declined to enter a plea at the beginning of the trial, a strategy attorneys sometimes employ when there is substantial evidence against the defendant. Jones’ attorneys could be gearing up for the trial’s punishment phase, when they will be permitted to provide evidence of a mental health disorder that Jones told investigators he took medication for.State District Judge Brenda Kennedy, by law, entered a not guilty plea on Jones’ behalf.Kadirhan, in brief opening remarks, encouraged the jury to consider Jones’ mental state on the night he’s alleged to have killed Ruiz.“This case is different,” she said, but didn’t elaborate.The most gripping testimony of the day came from Jones’ father, Pontrey Simon, who grabbed at tissues in the witness box as he addressed his relationship with Ruiz, whom he met at a Thanksgiving party shortly after he moved to Austin in 2006 and started dating in time for Christmas. He recalled thinking she looked like Pocahontas.“I was nervous,” he said. “She was beautiful.”They ended up having two children together and raised them along with a young son Ruiz had from a previous relationship. The couple married in July 2015.The family of five were living in a two-bedroom apartment on South Congress Avenue when, about a week before Ruiz’s death, Jones showed up unannounced and moved in. Twenty years old at the time, Jones had been bouncing around homes of relatives and ended up staying under a bridge for a few nights after his options had dried up. He had previously clashed with Simon over skipping school, Simon testified.Ruiz, according to Simon, invited Jones to sleep on the living room couch. There were no signs that something terrible was about to happen, Simon said.On the night of Ruiz’s death, Jones had joined her in the kitchen to help her prepare soup. The two of them had a good relationship, Simon said, and Ruiz often bought nice clothes for Jones to wear.After the football game, Simon said he dozed off on the couch; he awoke to his wife screaming and to his son stabbing her. Simon jumped up, he said, and grabbed Jones around the neck, forcing him toward the front door. By the time Simon let go to call 911 and attend to his wife, Jones had gone limp and fell to the floor.“I almost killed my own son,” he said.About 10 minutes later, police found Jones lying naked near South Congress Avenue and Oltorf Street.
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